Italian Banks Adopt Tax Avoidance Strategy To Counter Windfall Tax

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Italian Banks Adopt Tax Avoidance Strategy To Counter Windfall Tax
Credit: © Reuters.

Italian banking giants Intesa Sanpaolo (OTC: ISNPY ) and Mediobanca (OTC: MDIBY ) Banca di Credito Finanziario have announced plans to set aside funds as a strategic response to the Italian Government's banking windfall tax. These strategies are subject to the scrutiny of shareholders and will be reviewed in conjunction with the banks' 2023 financial statements.

Intesa Sanpaolo has proposed to its shareholders a plan to transfer €2.07 billion ($2.19 billion) into a non-distributable reserve, using a calculated tax amount of €828 million as a reference. The bank itself will earmark approximately €1.99 billion, based on an estimated tax amount of €797 million. This approach is also set to be adopted by its subsidiaries - Fideuram, Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking, and Isybank.

On a similar note, Mediobanca has announced that it plans to establish a €210 million profit reserve instead of paying the windfall tax. This decision was announced together with a significant surge in its first-quarter profits, which rose by 34% to €351.3 million. In addition to this, Mediobanca disclosed that it has obtained approval from the European Central Bank (ECB) for a share buyback program valued at around €200 million.

The adoption of these strategies follows a path similar to that of UniCredit, which also chose a tax avoidance strategy in response to Italy's recent windfall tax.

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